Callie, let’s start with your introducing yourself.
I live in Indianapolis, Indiana with my husband Kyle. We have three children: Loagin is 23, Ellie is 9, and Ryker is 6. I have been traveling my whole life. I was lucky enough to grow up with a mom who worked in the airline industry, so we very much took advantage of the free airfare. We spent many weekends visiting new cities in the U.S. I remember being young and anytime my brother and I were studying a certain place in U.S. History, we just just go see it that weekend…like a quick trip to Philly to see the Liberty Bell! I definitely caught the traveling bug early and knew it was something I would do forever. Now that I have lost both of my parents, I look back on our travel memories as some of the best moments of my childhood.
My husband and I are both teachers, so we try to travel during all of our breaks from school. So far us travel has been limited mostly to the United States, with a couple exceptions. We love a good road trip, and my kids hardly blink an eye at 12 hours in the car if it means we are on a new adventure! My husband is a football coach, so my kids and I usually go on a cruise over fall break. No cruising for us this year, though, boo!
How did your passion for travel get started?
As I stated above, traveling so much as a child ignited my passion for travel. When I met my husband we would travel throughout the United States to see our favorite band in concert. Luckily, he quickly became a lover of travel as well!
What exactly does travel mean to you?
I love travel for so many reasons. I love knowing I’m standing someplace I have never been before. I love learning about other towns, cultures, food, and ways of life…even if it’s only one state over! I love wandering off the beaten path not knowing what you will find. I love seeing my kids experience new places for the first time, and hearing them reminisce about our past travel experiences.
In your opinion, what’s the best place to travel to with kids?
We are a HUGE Disney family. It doesn’t matter how much we go, we have a blast each time we go back! I grew so fond of planning our Disney vacations that I eventually became a travel agent so I could help others plan their trips! Since then I have branched out in my planning, so when I am not traveling I get to live vicariously through my clients. Besides Disney, I love cruising with my kids. I enjoy waking up in a new place each morning, without having to worry about the logistics of getting there myself! The all you can eat food options, kids clubs, water slides, and activities make our time on board amazing, yet we still get to get off the boat and explore new countries as well.
What’s the yummiest thing you’ve ate/drank on your travels?
One of my absolute favorites is the restaurant Palo on Disney Cruise Line. They have the most amazing selection of food and it is never-ending! I could just sit in there all day and eat, haha! We also like asking locals where they like to eat so we can get an authentic taste for whatever city we are in!
What’s your favorite US state to visit and why?
It’s really hard for me to not say Florida, as cliche as it is, because I love Disney and I love the beach. I am also a big fan of New York City in the fall, or South Dakota in the summer.
What’s your favorite city you’ve visited with your kids? Give us a quick 2 minute guide to that city.
Not necessarily a city, but the Black Hills of South Dakota! We could easily spend days in Custer State park swimming, hiking, and kayaking, plus a drive through Wind Cave National Park and a visit to Mount Rushmore!
What’s your favorite things to do while traveling?
Eat! I love to scope out the food choices ahead of time and we usually have a ridiculously long list of places we want to try by the time we get there!
Do your kids have a dream destination that they’re dying to travel to someday?
There are so many! They want to do an African Safari and my daughter wants to visit Paris. We were supposed to go to Costa Rica for spring break but had to cancel, so that’s back at the top of our list as well.
How do your kids benefit from traveling?
I think it helps open their eyes to the beauty of the diversity in our world. I think it makes them appreciate the lives they have been blessed with, it encourages them to never stop learning and growing, and it gives them memories that will last a lifetime.
What are your top 3 tips for traveling with kids?
1. Let them have a say! Give them some choices in the planning process, whether it’s excursions or places to eat.
2. Prepare them for your destination. We always try to incorporate some background and education about our destination before our arrival.
3. Be patient. Travel is immensely rewarding, but it can also be exhausting! If you need to adjust plans, cut something out, and just take a day to relax, do it!